Artwork


The steel hen has received the last of the attention she is going to receive for a while, I believe. Last week, I did the following:

  • Heated up the end of a quarter-in steel rod in the forge and banged on it with a hammer until it was beak-shaped
  • Used an oxy-acetalyne cutting torch to cut out a comb and wattles, then welded them on with same tanks
  • Melted holes in the head, found matching bolts, cut them short, inserted them. One later fell out and will have to reattached with more confidence at a future date.
  • Got a brief lesson in brazing (that’s when you attach two pieces of metal with brass, or in this case, try to color on some small pieces of flat steel with brass as if it were a paint pen, which is definitely is not) and attempted to use the method to give the new chicken head-parts some additional style and color.
  • Had my picture taken with the hen

She’s bigger than my chickens, though not by much. She is quite a bit heavier, though. Any naming suggestions for Her Henness?

January 10th, 2011

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This hen is getting quite heavy. Quite top heavy. I spent some time trying to add a small dense weight to her breast so she’d balance, but there were two problems with this plan. One, I didn’t embark on this plan until I’d already gotten her almost completely sealed up with new lower front and lower back pieces. Two, she’s so top heavy that even if I do get her to balance, it will be very tenous. The new plan, then, is to weld on two spikes to the bottom of her feet, once she’s all done. Then I can jam her into the ground and she’ll stand up.

So now she’s got all her parts and a head (she got very hot-headed at one point, which is why I put it in a bucket of water). The head isn’t done – you can’t tell from these pictures, but she does have a suggested beak, comb, and waddle, but needs a longer beak and a second waddle. Also, I want to braze her beak so it’s got a different color from the rest of her. And she may get some treatment. Stay tuned because the hen is due for some more artistic attention in the first week of January.

December 24th, 2010

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Massive surface area added to the chicken last night. I cut and forged the second wing, the second piece of the middle far back, the last piece of neck, five pieces of tail, the top back and I don’t remember what else. Sadly, Miss Hen is no longer properly balanced and will fall over if two (not one, but two) bricks aren’t weighing down her feet. Hopefully this will change, but she’s getting SO top-heavy that I am losing confidence.

Next week, I plan to fill out her under-tail (aka her “booty butt”) area, and some other nether regions. I also realized I’m not sure how I want to build her head, so I’ll try to figure that out as well.

December 16th, 2010

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Last week, which did not get a blog post, I started creating the external surface of the chicken. Starting with a large rectangle of relatively thin plate steel, I cut out rounded shapes with an Oxyacetalyne cutting torch. Then I heated up small areas of those pieces with a rosebud torch, and banged on them with a hammer to shape them. This proved to be slow and frustrating. The area that the rosebud could heat up was just too small.

This week I tried using a small forge instead (pictured first above). This limits the size of the steel pieces I can use, but that proved to be a worthy sacrifice, because the forge heats up pieces fully and I could shape them more easily. The chicken now has a few additional pieces attached, and four more have been forged and will be attached next week. I also took some time to strengthen the welds at the heel and hip joints; the upper part of the chicken is getting heavy and I don’t want it to collapse. At this moment, the chicken can stand on its own! The balance will go off and on again over time, but hopefully it will end up stable.

December 9th, 2010

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The chicken support structure/skeleton begins. It’s kind of hard to tell, but it’s got a basic body outline, hips, legs, and initial neck.

November 11th, 2010

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Last night I added only a gross (144) squares. That’s because I ran out! I have to buy more steel and make more squares. Also, I did a lot of detail work, becuase after I finished the abdomen I had to patch up some empty spaces on the back and near the spinarrets, and then I had to start the transition to the cephalothorax (front part), which was tedious. I put a lot of extra welds in this area because this small transition ara will have to hold the entire weight of the abdomen.

Here are the pictures.

March 22nd, 2007

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Last night I added another 212 squares to the spider abdomen. This makes for a total of 551 squares. The abdomen is almost complete. Now I will begin creating the cephalothorax…

Click here to see more pictures.
 

March 16th, 2007

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Last night I added another 170 squares to the spider abdomen. This makes for a total of 339 squares.

Click here to see more pictures.
 
 

March 8th, 2007

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I started a new metal sculpture that I’m building entirely out of squares (well, most are actually just rectangles and a few are triangles). You can’t tell right now, but it’s going to be a spider. The part I’ve built first is the top part of the back part … I have to learn some spider anatomy.

Click here for the full picture.

March 1st, 2007

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Last night I spent a good 3 solid hours working on this little guy, but there’s less visible progress. I worked on some details, like adding metal to the body so that they ribs don’t show through as much. I also covered more of the head and started strategizing about the trunk.
 

March 30th, 2006

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I got all hunkered down with the elephant last night. Didn’t even take the dog out of hiding (though she did get to pose for a picture with the elephant). I added lots to the elephant’s body, which is now almost completely covered. I also created a complte frame for the head with little pieces of bar, and then started covering it. Exciting! Here is the elephant from the front and here from the side.

March 23rd, 2006

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How the elephant got its skin: Take a sheet of metal. Using the plasma cutter, hack it up into smallish pieces (1-4 square inches). Take once piece at time, weld it to the skeleton using the oxy-acetalyne welder. Heat, bang with hammer, weld some more.

I started this process on Wednesday night and got the elephant about 1/4 covered in skin. This process yields much better results on small creatures like this elephant and bull than it does on the dog, I think. Here are three pictures of the elephant, partly covered.

March 17th, 2006

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Last night I also started welding a new project (last week I started it by cutting and preparing the first 12 pieces of metal, but it was last night that I began attaching them). This will be a little elephant, standing only about 8 inches high. He doesn’t photograph very well right now, so you have to imagine you can see him in three dimensions. Here he is from the side and from the back.

March 2nd, 2006

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Spent a few hours tonight working on the dog laying an egg. Did a combination, for each piece of skin/armor I added, of forging, welding, and then heating with a rosebud and banging (in that order). I started adding to one front leg, but it’ll need some more work before it looks anything like right. Here she is viewed from above, with ears on show!

March 1st, 2006

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AFter months and months of neglect, the dog has finally gotten some attention. It’s been a while since I posted photos of her, so the differences are clear. She’s got a lot more armor/skin now. I posted a photo showing new metal next to old metal. Next week, there’ll be more photos from the front.

February 17th, 2006

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